I have found October and November to be a great time of the year to explore the numerous peaks in the Colorado Springs area. I like to lay off the 14ers after September for weather reasons, but still need to get my climbing/hiking fixes in. I had a November Wednesday off work, so I decided to attempt Vigil Peak and San Luis. After a failed attempt to tackle the low class 5 ridge of Vigil I headed back down the trail to the fork that leads to San Luis. I can't say how impressed I was with this trail, which I believe is maintained by the kind people of Bear Trap Ranch. At the trail junction there was actually a hand carved wood sign pointing towards Vigil and San Luis. As I progressed up the San Luis trail in a light but steady snow I was amazed at how well marked the route was. I had my GPS with me, but found that it was not needed. There were countless cairns that popped up whenever I felt I was about to lose the route. Though climbing in ~ 2 inches of snow, I can't imagine losing this trail with clear ground in better weather. I made my way to the south ridge of San Luis and started some surprisingly difficult route finding and scrambling to the summit. The winds were picking up, but the sun was out for good and I was not too cold. Just shy of the final summit scramble a near personal tragedy struck. A strong gust came along and blew my beloved Ohio State Buckeye hat off my head, into the wind and out of sight. I was crestfallen. I had owned this hat for years and it had been to the top of every Colorado 14er that I had climbed, save Mt. Elbert. It fit my receding hairline head like a glove. I pulled my depressed soul over a rock and carefully slid down a ledge to look for Old Scarlet and Grey Glory. There on a small shelf just 20 feet below was my hat of 14er fame. I was either going to die on this mountain with my hat or leave with it back in its rightful spot on my head. I spent almost 20 minutes working my way down snow covered ledges to the shelf where I finally regained my hat only to discover a much easier way back to my pack and gear. I scrambled up to the summit, snapped some pictures and made the obligatory cell calls to home and work. After grabbing lunch in a small nook that shielded me from the wind I headed back to Bear Trap and made it to my car in just over an hour. I spent a long day in the cold and snow, lost/regained a prized possesion and attained the summit of a beautiful mountain. As the most famous Ohio State Buckeye, Woody Hayes, once said, "If something is easy it ain't worth a damn!" God bless the Buckeyes and to hell with Michigan!